Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Hemming vs Hemming
The other interesting event actually occurred before the broadcast began, as a minor domestic disagreement broke out between John Hemming and his estranged wife Christine. As the crew were checking for levels and getting the audience used to blokes wandering around with microphones on poles, Christine raised her hand - for she was in the audience, a couple of rows in front of John. She introduced herself only as Christine, surviving after redundancy on jobseeker's allowance of £67 a week and that she used to have a weekly bill of £100 a week at Tesco (which explains how John used to claim £400 a month for food on parliamentary expenses). At that, John raised his hand and the microphone was ceremonially presented to him, for him to point out that the woman who had just spoken was his wife and that she also received £500 a week from him (any money paid for the support of children is exempt from JSA calculations, benefits fact fans). He also said that he wasn't going to be 'stunted' by the BBC - an accusation that Stephen Nolan fiercely denied. John then went and had a chat with the producer in a quiet corner and the producer then had a similar quiet chat with Christine. I don't know what was said, but she didn't attempt to take any further part in the debate, although she did stay for most of the evening. Not sure we've heard the last of her.